7 Ways to Get More Out of a Wide-Angle Lens


Using the kit lens that came with your new DSLR is a great place to start. This lens is most often in the range of 18-55m or 15-135mm (upgraded). The purpose of a kit lens is to accommodate much of the user’s capturing needs, but if you’ve expanded your photography interests and skills, and a kit lens is all you have – you’ll need something more.
Why would you need a wide-angle lens? Well, it’s simple – a wide-angle lens will be an excellent choice if you are going to use only one lens, because it allows you to make dramatic and beautiful images.Wide-Angle Lens

It’s an excellent tool for shooting architecture, landscape, and even street photography. However, getting used to it will take some time. However, once you do, you’ll learn that it allows you to do things that you can’t achieve with other lenses.

However, wide-angle lenses are often selected for the wrong reasons or used incorrectly, so you should know why you need it, understand how it works, and know how to get the best of it.

What is a Wide-Angle Lens?

A wide angle (in general) includes a field of view wider than the human eye can see. A wide-angle lens is created to capture as much of the scene in front of the photographer as possible. Unlike a telephoto lens, which is designed to capture far away objects, a wide-angle lens opens up a plethora of creative possibilities because it makes objects seem farther away from the camera than they actually are.

A wide-angle lens, in terms of specifications, is a lens with a focal length equivalent of 35mm or less (the focal length can be found in the lens specifications) on a full-frame camera. They come in fixed focal lengths (the common fixed-focal lengths are 14, 18, 20, 24, and 28mm) and in zooms.

Unlike longer lenses, wide-angle ones have more depth-of-field, which helps you keep the scene within the frame in sharp focus. Also, they make things close to the lens appear nearer than they really are because they exaggerate perspective. The sense of scale and distance is stretched, and the effect is greater as the focal length gets shorter. Besides equipping your DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens, you can also opt for a wide angle camera that offers 43-150 degree views, mostly used for surveillance.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Wide-Angle Lens

Environmental portraiture

A wide-angle lens allows you to capture portraits and include the person’s surroundings at the same time. When fashion, documentary, and portrait photographers want to tell a story, they use this technique that’s opposite to using a telephoto lens and blurring the background with a wide aperture. The model in the photo is just as interesting as the setting.


Filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Paul Thomas Anderson are notable for their use of symmetry and lines as powerful compositional tools. They connect the elements visually, and take the viewer’s eye from the front to the back of the image. This type of lens adds to the power of the lines and exaggerates the sense of scale. You can exploit the lines in your photographs with this lens once you train your eye to look for them, while a wide-angle lens is there to help you create photos that are more dramatic.

Converging lines

A technique similar to exploiting lines – in order to achieve the effect of converging verticals, to add interest and drama to the image, tip your camera backwards a little when taking photos of buildings. You can tip it back a little or a lot if you want to get a snail’s eye view.

Foreground interest

This is primarily connected with landscape photography, and it’s a good idea to have something interesting in the foreground (a focal point) for the viewer to look at. If not, the image may be boring because of too much empty space.

Take advantage of the sky

When capturing a landscape photo, if the day is sunny and clear while the clouds merge into interesting forms in the sky, you can take advantage of it with a wide-angle lens. Fill ½ or ⅓ of your frame with the sky, and the lens will add a sense of depth and accentuate it. In this case, you can have a foreground that’s less interesting (but it still needs to be at least a bit interesting).

Framing the shot

Subjects can be framed in interesting ways by using a wide-angle lens. For example, you can shoot subjects within windows or door frames, while some of the possibilities won’t even be noticed until you look through the viewfinder.

Shoot low

You can shoot from close-to-the-ground angles and still manage to fit skies and tall subjects into the frame, because of the extreme width you’re using. This technique is interesting because the ground included in the shot guides up the viewer’s eye to the subject or the horizon.

In order to get the best shots with your wide-angle lens, you should understand the way it works, as well as when and when not to use it. Once you learn that, it will provide you with marvelous results. If you’ve never tried a wide-angle lens, you can borrow or rent one to give it a shot, before purchasing your own.

Naveen Kumar
Naveen Kumar is the Founder of F5 The Refresh. He is an SEO Expert by Profession and A blogger by hobby, who writes on various topics like Online Earning, SEO, Blogging and a lot more. You can follow him on Social Media.

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